Tool selection: calendars and templates

When it’s time to create your editorial calendar, you’ll need to choose a tool or template to design and share it. Keep in mind that each relevant stakeholder must be able to access the calendar, so it must be shareable. There are many different options, you just have to find the one that best suits your case.

Valdellon recommends selecting a calendar that has drag and drop functionality to make rearranging items easier and more bearable. Remember that some people learn visually and work better on paper. In that case, consider printing the calendar and posting it where it can be seen or using a tool where each user can print the calendar. Just remind them to check frequently for possible calendar updates so they don’t deal with outdated material.

Jira Calendars allow content teams to have individual, color-coded calendars for each type of content, such as ebooks or blogs. “The ability to layer these calendars creates a single view of all scheduled materials that really makes timelines and dependencies clear. It makes it a lot easier to identify scheduling conflicts,” Rachel admits, adding that she uses Jira’s monthly calendar template.

“The best thing is that each scheduled task is linked to the underlying job and all you have to do is click on it to see all the related information, files and conversations. Changes to due dates made directly on tasks are automatically propagated in Jira Calendars, and dragging and dropping a task onto the calendar updates the task date as well.”

Walker notes that you may want to manage two versions of the editorial calendar:

• A comprehensive version for the content team, detailing all the production steps, assignments, and deadlines they need to know.

• An improved version for the marketing team and other interested parties, indicating delivery times. These external stakeholders want to know when the ebook is going to be ready, but they are less concerned with the production process.

Above all, Valdellon says: “Make sure everyone uses the calendar. If it is not there, it does not exist, and the content is not published”. You might click to know more in detail.

Resource allocation

A big part of effective editorial calendar management is knowing how and how much to allocate work to the team. In fact, the Project Management Institute found that 21% of projects fail due to resource constraint or taxation; and inadequate resource forecasting accounts for 18% of failed projects. Without a doubt, resource management is essential.

Valdellon says that prioritization is essential here, to ensure that the most important content is addressed first, and by the right team members. What elements are considered less important? Outsource or postpone.

Rachel adds that another tool for effectively managing your resources is to make the most of your team members’ areas of expertise. “If I know someone is really good at writing a certain type of content or is really interested in a certain topic, I do my best to assign it to them,” she says of her team. “I also use the 80/20 rule. I schedule them at 80% capacity to allow for unexpected projects.”